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Thread: What handgun does everyone recommend?

  1. #1
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    What handgun does everyone recommend?

    I am picking up my first pistol tomorrow and I am unsure of what I want to get. I really like the look of a M9 but I've been told that the weapon system is to heavy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Myers View Post
    I am picking up my first pistol tomorrow and I am unsure of what I want to get. I really like the look of a M9 but I've been told that the weapon system is to heavy.
    They are big and heavy, but nice guns.

    Have you considered a Glock 19?

  3. #3
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Wow, if you don't get a different answer in every single post, then something's weird around here!

    Handguns are personal. How they fit in your hand is as important as how they operate.

    The M9 is a full-sized handgun, yes, but that's not as big a deal for OC. What's more important is if it fits your hand, including reaching the trigger comfortably when the hammer is down. Remember that it is still the standard service pistol for the US military, so it has a track record of being used by a lot of different people. That said, the military also issues the M11 pistol to those whose hands are not well suited to the size of the M9. The M11 is a Sig Sauer 9mm; these have smaller frame.

    Try shooting a lot of different guns. Understand the different action types and manuals-of-arms (how that particular gun works).

    The weight of a handgun isn't a big deal with the right belt and holster, for most people. The M9 is still an aluminum frame, so it's not as heavy as it looks.

    What I carry is a Kimber 1911 in .45 ACP, usually. But I keep a large variety of different handguns available for students to test and see what they like for themselves. I'm a big fan of Glocks, Sigs, Berettas, and Smith & Wessons. Speaking of the latter, don't rule out revolvers. They are still very acceptable choices for defensive sidearms, and some S&W's on the used market are in the $300 range, so are some new models of the cheaper imports.

    I could write another two pages on your question.

    EDIT: I can't believe skidmark hasn't welcomed you to the forum yet. Where are his manners?
    Last edited by MAC702; 10-22-2012 at 11:08 PM.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    My advice would be to hold off on buying the pistol until you have time to research the purchase thoroughly.

    If you want to get it right the first time, there is a lot more to it.


    Among the things you'll want to consider:

    How you will typically carry it: open, concealed, where on your person, etc. For example, an M9 might be a great OC gun in a belt holster or shoulder holster, but its probably a little fat for most folks to CC in an inside-the-waistband holster. If you plan on also CCing the gun, you'll have to take into account how concealable (will it make a big lump under your shirt?) it will be in the summer time. Pretty much everything is concealable under a winter coat; its when May rolls around that you start to realize you might have too much gun for CC for your body shape without resorting to fanny packs that scream "I'm carrying a gun."

    How heavy a pistol are you willing to lug around all day? An M9 weighs what loaded? 40oz? Almost as much as a 1911, I'm betting. I assure you, a full-size service pistol gets a little heavy after about the 3rd or 4th hour. Its not the gun itself, its the gun pulling the belt down into your hips. A wide belt doesn't particularly help this because its the bottom edge of the belt that starts digging into you as the weight of the pistol pulls it down. Think about whether that sort of thing will bug you.

    Do you want a full-size pistol (5" barrel) or a compact (say, 3"-4" barrel)? Whether and how you might carry concealed may affect this decision.

    Budget range?

    Caliber preference? For myself, I've always liked the advice to carry the biggest caliber you can comfortably control, meaning you can take it to the range and comfortably shoot 100-200 rounds without your hand hurting from recoil.

    Magazine capacity?

    Of the candidate guns, which fits your hand most naturally? Is the trigger acceptable? For example, the triggers on most striker-fired guns make me crazy. They feel all mushy compared to say a S&W revolver or 1911. Some people don't mind that at all, though.

    There are probably websites from self-defense gun gurus who can give you more things to consider. The main point is that you can find out about these things before the purchase; or, you can find out about them as they come up after you purchased the gun.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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  5. #5
    Regular Member robert1970's Avatar
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    Iam a revolver fan,I would recomend a smith and wesson,or Ruger in 357 mag.

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    A recommendation would require some personal information; like your size, grip strength, any medical concerns that may prohibit a lot of recoil, etc.

    And information about how often you would like to shoot (practice costs) etc.

    If it comes down to accuracy v. punching power accuracy always triumphs.

    It maybe that a 22 is best for you.

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    Yeah the variables included in answering this question will lead you into crazy-land. I would go to a local gun shop, hold as many different models as you can and try and shoot many different kinds and see what works best for you.

    Of course i love my PX4 Storm .45 FS, but that doesn't mean you will. Everyone has such different hand shapes and sizes, it makes it tough to just recommend a "good" gun. Most guns are good, but which one is the BEST for you?

  8. #8
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    First off, Welcome to OCDO. I can't believe the other posters have not learned their manners yet.

    Be sure to drop in to the Nevada forum and check out all the meet&greet events so you can get to know not only who's who but what's what.

    As for your question:

    What are you looking for?

    What have you tried so far?

    Why haven't you tried <X> as well?

    What's your budget?

    Why do you want <that caliber> as opposed to <some other caliber>?

    Who has tried to influence you to get <X> and why?

    What do you plan to do with your first handgun (besides the obvious answer of "Open carry it")?

    Have you figured out how to comply with the laws and regs on purchasing and/or registering your new handgun? (I never bother to remember who has to get what color cards and who does not 'cause I live where we don't need no stinkin' cards.)

    While you answer all of those questions, I'll try and post the rest of the pertinent and necessary ones to be answered before you purchase a handgun. Then you can start in on answering them. Be sure to SHOW YOUR WORK for all answers.

    Seriously, back in the days before dinosaurs roamed the Earth and I was young folks got a S&W Model 10, a S&W snubby, or a 1911 because that was pretty much what there was that your grandfather/father/brother/uncle/the guy down the street had. Nobody cared about how or why you were going to use it (well, except they hoped yu would not take up robbing banks) and figured that shooting up a box of shells at some sand pit/quarry was all the training you would ever need. Practice? Why bother - you knew how to pull the trigger, didn't you? And knowing the laws? See the comment about robbing banks - after that it was pretty much all downhill.

    Buying your first handgun is almost as bad as buying your first holster - except we all know that you will never pick the right holster the first time. Making the decision about what handgun to buy is harder, and more important, than figuring out which girl you want to marry. Just luike a bad marriage, you may be stuck with your decision for a lot longer than you want to be if things do not turn out right, and it will be costly no matter which relationship you are ending.

    Since there are several ranges near you that rent handguns, I hope you go and try out a bunch to see what YOU like. Remember, the guy behind the gun counter wants you to buy whatever gets him the highest commission and/or creates the best story in the break room about the noob who got suckered into buying "that" gun. Also check in to the Nevada forum and see if someone will agree to mentor you through your selection process. Most of them (OK, at least some of them) are good folks.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Welcome to OCDO, and take your time, research, realize this probably will not be your last handgun purchase. Determine what you can afford, not just the gun but the accessories and the ammunition. There are a huge assortment of handguns available and all will do the job, as long as you can do your part. In the old days a revolver was usually a persons first gun, but that day is long gone, but they are still a good choice. DAO semi autos are now usually the first gun, except for being semi auto they have the same feature as revolvers, a double action trigger pull.

    If you plan on CC also size and weight may be a concern, though most semi autos tend to conceal well with the right holster and placement.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
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    Regular Member The Wolfhound's Avatar
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    Added to what the others have said.....

    Welcome to OCDO. Go to gunshows and local dealers to wrap your hand around as many pistols as you can. Find the ones that fit your hand. If Glock feels good consider Glock, If Glock feels wrong consider something else. (Glocks are fine firearms but I do not like them and am not likely to ever own one because they just feel wrong in my hand.) The options are quite numerous. Find that combination of fit, caliber and capacity that fits how you plan to use the gun. Is it home defense? Is it for carry? Try to shoot the gun you choose before you buy it. After several fine firearms that were not totally to her liking, my wife has decided not to buy any more guns with out first shooting them. I agree with her earned wisdom, nothing beats the experience of shooting it to find whether you like or dislike your gun.
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  11. #11
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wolfhound View Post
    Welcome to OCDO. Go to gunshows and local dealers to wrap your hand around as many pistols as you can. Find the ones that fit your hand. If Glock feels good consider Glock, If Glock feels wrong consider something else. (Glocks are fine firearms but I do not like them and am not likely to ever own one because they just feel wrong in my hand.) The options are quite numerous. Find that combination of fit, caliber and capacity that fits how you plan to use the gun. Is it home defense? Is it for carry? Try to shoot the gun you choose before you buy it. After several fine firearms that were not totally to her liking, my wife has decided not to buy any more guns with out first shooting them. I agree with her earned wisdom, nothing beats the experience of shooting it to find whether you like or dislike your gun.
    There is a little problem with the bold, I like every handgun I touch let alone shoot, I would be broke if I bought every one.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

  12. #12
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    First off, Welcome to OCDO. I can't believe the other posters have not learned their manners yet....
    My apologies. Please note my edit to Post #2.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    My apologies. Please note my edit to Post #2.
    Dood, you are cruising for a , aren't you.

    Well, you aren't going to get a out of me. I've got too much restraint to give you a .

    Also, please note that I never asked if you have stopped kicking your dog.

    See how much manners I gots?

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
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  14. #14
    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Selecting a handgun is similar to choosing one's religion - if it doesn't fit you, keep on looking. As has been mentioned before in this thread, whatever handgun you buy must fit your hand right properly. If it doesn't fit your hand will never become proficient with it. What do I mean by "fit your hand"? It must feel comfortable... almost as if you were born with that particular hand specifically for the purpose of buying this particular handgun! Ask twenty experienced hand-gunners your question, and you'll get twenty different answers (with a few repeats). You can see what fits me below. Pax...
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  15. #15
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gil223 View Post
    Selecting a handgun is similar to choosing one's religion - if it doesn't fit you, keep on looking. As has been mentioned before in this thread, whatever handgun you buy must fit your hand right properly. If it doesn't fit your hand will never become proficient with it. What do I mean by "fit your hand"? It must feel comfortable... almost as if you were born with that particular hand specifically for the purpose of buying this particular handgun! Ask twenty experienced hand-gunners your question, and you'll get twenty different answers (with a few repeats). You can see what fits me below. Pax...
    IMO a handgun when pointed should fit and give a proper grip. That being a straight line from the bend of the arm to the end of the barrel. The wrist should not be out of this line, as is is with many shooters. This is very important for point shooting, just like pointing a finger.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

  16. #16
    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    IMO a handgun when pointed should fit and give a proper grip. That being a straight line from the bend of the arm to the end of the barrel. The wrist should not be out of this line, as is is with many shooters. This is very important for point shooting, just like pointing a finger.
    No disagreement there. Pax...
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoobee View Post
    Most people would recommend the Glock 17 as a first pistol...
    I doubt that.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

  18. #18
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoobee View Post
    The Glocks are way superior to any revolvers these days.

    These days, the only reason to have a revolver is against grizzly bears, such as the Colt 45/70, or the Smith & Wesson 300,...
    I've never heard of those two revolvers.

    The biggest advantages that still make revolvers a very viable choice for defensive arms are their simplicity (more so than Glocks) and the fact that they can be safely and reliably used by those with little arm strength for racking the slides of an automatic reliably.

    They can also use ammunition of varying power levels with no change in reliability. They can be fired from inside a pocket without a malfunction.

    They are not inferior. They are different.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

  19. #19
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoobee View Post
    Well obviously you would not because you are a traditionalist with your Kimber 45ACP.

    But these days the Glocks are the most popular, and the 17 is the most basic of the Glocks as a starter.

    I don't personally like any of the glocks. But many many others do.
    I don't doubt "many". I doubted "most."

    Who are you counting? I know a lot of carriers. Most do not have Glocks. A lot do. Most do not. And you went so far as to recommend which model. I actually can't think of anyone who carries a Glock 17 at the moment.
    Last edited by MAC702; 10-24-2012 at 02:58 AM.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

  20. #20
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoobee View Post
    ...But "most" were Glocks.

    It's a really popular handgun.
    It most certainly is very popular. I have several myself. But that doesn't make the Glock 17 the most recommended first pistol. MOST agree that it depends on the needs of the individual.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    My endorsements are...

    Well it depends on what you like and need. So these are the endorsements I would make, your mileage may vary

    Full size semi auto: Glock 17 (9x19mm) OR Glock 21 (.45 caliber ACP)
    Compact Size Semi auto: Glock 19 (9x19mm) OR glock 30SF (.45 ACP
    Small Semi auto: Walther PPK (7.65mm aka .32ACP)
    Full Size Revolver: Smith and Wesson Model 10 OR Model 15 (.38 Spl)
    Compact Revolver: Smith and Wesson Model 36 (.38spl)

    like I said, your mileage may vary, try some different models out and see what you like first...

    *EDIT

    I personally also have a policy about "non-standard ammo" (primarily .45 GAP, .357 SIG, and in some cases .38 Super. there are a couple of other ones i consider non standard like 9x18mm and .41 magnum.)

    except as a novelty I don't like non standard ammo because there is often problems finding it, I can walk in to any walmart in the country and buy 9, 45, 40, .38, .32 etc but ammo like the kinds I listed may or may not be available, and can sometimes (but not always) cost more.

    Again this is my personal rule, it's your pistol, buy what you feel suits your needs.
    Last edited by EMNofSeattle; 10-24-2012 at 03:33 AM. Reason: more info
    they love our milk and honey, but they preach about some other way of living, when they're running down my country man they're walkin' on the fightin side of me

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  22. #22
    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoobee View Post
    Most people in the world do not "choose" a religion however. Most people are indoctrinated and brainwashed by their parents.

    This would be just as true in Utah as in Italy or Spain or Mexico or Arabia or China or Japan or Boston or Dallas or anywhere else.
    Not knowing "most people", I can never say "most people" with any certainty. I chose my religion several times looking for that "good fit". I finally just quit looking, and started the First Church of Glock. I realize that many people are too weak to go against the beliefs their parents chose for them - they are also those who always vote a straight party ticket. Some folks in my world actually do make their own choices and decisions. Pax...
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  23. #23
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    Re: What handgun does everyone recommend?

    S&W MP .45 guy myself...it's what fits you though. What works for me, might not for you.

    Sent from my XT912 using Tapatalk 2

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gil223 View Post
    Not knowing "most people", I can never say "most people" with any certainty. I chose my religion several times looking for that "good fit". I finally just quit looking, and started the First Church of Glock. I realize that many people are too weak to go against the beliefs their parents chose for them - they are also those who always vote a straight party ticket. Some folks in my world actually do make their own choices and decisions. Pax...
    Well, "The Gospel According to Gaston" does have a certain alliteration.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  25. #25
    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    Well!!!

    BACK ON TOPIC!!!

    Taurus will sell you a 1911 style in 38 super for 400.
    A 38 special, short barrel for 280.
    same in stainless in 357 mag for 320.
    All these in the cdnnsports catalog on line.

    Other guns, are my Star Modelo Super in 9 largo, a 1911 looking, but different, full size gun, for 190.
    they will also shoot 9x23 winchester, and with little dermel relief 38 super, all similar cartridges.
    these are at sarcoinc.com on line.
    Also they have stars in 9mm nato, several models for 230.
    And they will sell a used glock g17 with 2 mags for 350.
    Also RAI in 38 super and 45 and double stack, all under 450.
    Argentine High Powers,,,(they are single action by the way), or arctus 9mm for just 170.

    And to add my favorite recomendation for new comers to the self defense world...
    The only gun that you can buy that you wont be able to make a profit on if you sell it in the future...
    A brand spanking new... Hi-Point!

    By the way the Hi-Point, being the New age Saturday night special,
    is not that much different from a glock,,,
    or a XDM,,,
    or a Raven, Jimines, pheonix...
    By the way ive had a Raven,for 36 years,,, and Ive thought about getting a Hi-Point, just cause I can,,
    but I have no plans to get a glock, or a XD...
    Last edited by 1245A Defender; 10-25-2012 at 07:32 AM.
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

    All power is inherent in the people,
    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

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